With everything that's been going on overturning roe v wade, we wanted to do a special episode where we talked to three different women (Janis, Mikala, and Priya) about their own experience with the decision to have an abortion (or not). We discuss how you don't ever know what you'll do until you're in the situation, the importance of choice, and why this decision has many layers and complexities that simply doesn't belong in our government's hands.
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S14E19: My Body, My Choice
00:00:01 - 00:05:06
The dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that The Huffington Post calls one of the top ten podcasts about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about everything from sex parties to sex droughts, date fails to diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host UA Shu, former dating coach turned dating sociologist. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Kraft chick as we explore this crazy dateable world. Hello Friends, welcome to a special episode of the dateable podcast. We had regular programming that we scheduled for this week, but we decided that, nope, we got to do something else in light of what's been happening and the overturn of roe V wade. I'm also wearing my bold shirt today, but I realize my hair covers the bee and it just is old. Thank you, you way. I needed that laugh after this week. So I really was really like, I'm trying to be bold, but then it was just as old. But then it's telling me what I don't want to hear. Thanks. Maybe you should get a haircut. That's the only way. That's right. Yes. Yes, that's bold and covers doesn't cover the bee bold, not old. It has been a crazy freaking week while. I mean, I feel like we all saw this coming, right? This has been leaked for a bit, but as the news cycles go, I feel like it kind of got hidden for a bit. So it came as a surprise again for sure when this was announced on Friday. But also, I think when it got leaked, my first thought was, oh, there's no way. We're way past that. There's no way. This is just a fluke. So I really didn't think this would be a reality. I feel like what year are we in? I mean, there was the best Instagram from the fat Jewish who I love. Oh, I gotta read this out loud. So it's just too good. Yeah, he's the best. It was time zones are crazy. And Australia, it's 9 a.m. in Rome. It's 1 a.m. in America, it's 1942 where minorities and women are still controlled by old white men. We're back in the hands bay tale. I mean, it's not a joking matter, but it's just freaking nuts how regressed we are becoming and I feel so thankful to be in a state like California where our rights are preserved but I know I have a lot of coworkers that are in Texas that went out to the protests and we're all like make sure that you're okay come in after but she can get really crazy when there's a lot of different opposing views and you live in a state where you're against the norm if you feel like this shouldn't be how it is. That's kind of how I feel living on the West Coast is we are in a bubble. I felt this way when I lived in New York too. And I forget there's so much more to the U.S. than just the coast and these states have to go through so much like the southern states are going to be affected the most. They're going to have to travel the farthest to get abortions. I mean, as far as like 900 miles, that's insane and the states with the most strict laws actually have the most kids in poverty. Well, that's the part that's killer about this is that there's so much that goes into this decision. And I think it's hard to put in your own words. I feel like I've seen so many quotes that have described it better than what I'm going to probably say, but I think the fact of, you know, this isn't just having a baby. It's stripping this right of women of the financial responsibility, basically your life being put on hold. And also unfair to kids when they come into this world as unwanted. Like that isn't a good position to be in. And there is this quote if every time men had sex, they risk death physical disability, social shunning, a life altering interruption of their education or career in the sudden lifelong responsibility for another being. I think they'd expect a choice in that matter. Yeah. And that's the crazy part of just how much it really, whether you're for abortion or against it. I think the fact that our rights and choice has been stripped is like a huge detriment to progression. And there's no exception for rape. No. That's just right there just shows you that we've lost our rights. Women have lost. We've lost our rights in this country. Guns have more rights in this country than women do. And it's fucking 2022. What are we doing here? I think the other part that I have been reading about because this is something I've done is that now there's the feeling of fertility of freezing embryos. Does that is that count as abortion? I mean, there's a lot of embryos that aren't used. I mean, I can think of like, first of all, let's say you have successful transplant, you get Ted embryos, you might not use all of them, but even like there's a lot of couples that freeze embryos that end up breaking up that don't end up using them.
00:05:06 - 00:10:06
So there's a lot that has to do with that side of things that are definitely makes me concerned as someone that's kind of relying on modern technology for the future family planning. It's kind of ironic because it's like people that want kids might be stripped of that too and some of these states. Yeah, that was a really interesting article. You sent me about how these clinics, if they destroy embryos for whatever reason, they could be charged with homicide now. That's not. All of it is nuts. And I personally don't have an abortion story of my own, but I certainly knew a lot of women and friends who did, especially in college and I did have a pregnancy scare at some point. I think it was late in high school. Our condom broke. And I was freaking out. I can't imagine if I had gotten married or gotten pregnant at 18. How different my life would be if I couldn't get an abortion then. And also how unfair it is for a child to come into that too. I mean, that's the other side. It's like we're pro life, but is it really giving someone a good life when it's set up for failure from the get go? Yeah. Yeah. So anyways, we definitely wanted to, you know, initially we had a really great episode about sex that was programmed. We will have hopefully have it, but is that going to change the way people view sex from now on? Is it going to go from something that's supposed to be enjoyable? I feel like we are working towards breaking down the state of our sex and is it just going to become something that's super stressful because there's so much at bay now with it too. That's another side of this whole equation of what it does for sexual progression. Yeah, the trickle down effect is insane. I mean, we're already in a sex recession. Now we're just going to be completely dry, you know? This is the scare tactics of all of this. I just can't imagine being a younger generation right now and what the implications could be, especially if you are in those states that are highly affected by this. And then also I think this is going to drive up property prices in California again because probably a lot of people are going to be moving in. Well, yeah, everyone that's flee to Austin's probably coming right back. But yes. Yes. Yeah, so anyways, we wanted to do a special episode. We got a really great we put up a post in our Facebook group. Our moderator Janice shared her story and immediately that was the catalyst for this of, okay, maybe we should change our programming, dive a little deeper because personally I was very curious about her experience and she actually chose to have the child at the end of this, but the point is the choice. And then we also wanted to talk to someone that had an abortion in which is kind of rounding it out. And of course, everyone, there's many stories on this topic. This is just two of the many, many, many that are out there, but I think that having us at least hear from real people about this topic is a start to opening this conversation up further and continuing to fight for our rights here. We did get a very interesting Instagram message. Someone said, maybe we should interview some men who've been in the process with their girlfriends or wives and I think that's a really great point. We did not find any men for this episode, but if there are any men out there who would like to share their own abortion story, please reach out to us hello at table podcast dot com. So before we get into it, let's hear for a few of our sponsor. This episode is made possible by filter off, so we hear this conundrum from you all quite a bit. You match with someone on an app, you exchange a few messages and get excited to meet them. And then when you do finally meet them IRL, you're disappointed. It's like they're a completely different person than the one you exchange messages with. We can't have this happen anymore because your time is precious, you need to check out filter off, with filter off, you can see the person you're matching with and actually get to know them over a quick video date before you waste your time getting ready, hopping into your car or onto the train. No more swipe fatigue, no more catfishing, no more text messages, pretending to be dates. Imagine being able to go on a date that's not entirely predicated on someone's ability to send text messages. Because you'll have already seen them and talk to them for a few minutes and you'll have a better sense of who they are and how you get along. Imagine being able to find someone who loves you for you and not some silly profile of statistics, download the filter off app or go to get filter off dot com and use a promo code date me to receive 5 extra daily picks. Start making meaningful connections today at GET. Dot com and use the code date me, filter off, date the person not the profile. So we are going to get right into it with the first story that comes from Janice. She's in her 40s. She is a single mother, currently lives in Canada and is originally from there also, but we'll talk about her decision to have her now son when she lived in New York.
00:10:12 - 00:15:00
While Janice, we'd love to hear from you 'cause you commented pretty quickly when we posted about roe V wade being overturned and did your own personal story. So we love to hear what that story is. So I want to preface everything I'm saying by mentioning that, although I currently live in Canada, I lived in the United States when this story I'm holding. So the comment that I made was based on my personal experience of something just over a decade ago, I found myself pregnant and it was not a planned pregnancy. And I was struggling with my partner. And the very initial stage of finding out I was pregnant was actually okay. So he managed that situation relatively as one would expect. So we went and we verified that I was pregnant. We went to the clinic together everything seemed okay until it was clinically verified. And then he got very, very angry. And there was a moment that I will never forget where we were sitting on the couch, and he said, what do you want to do now? And I said, well, we should talk about it. And he instantly became really, really angry, through my legs off him, and basically started shouting at me. That was a huge surprise to me. It was something I'd never seen from him before, and it was completely out of character. So all of a sudden, I was in a situation that I didn't really understand what I should do. I actually called Planned Parenthood, which was just down the street from my house. And made an appointment. They have amazing counseling services. And I think that this is one of the reasons I made the comment that I did because it seems to be really misunderstood that Planned Parenthood clinics. They do perform abortions, but they also perform a lot of just general women's health services. So once you're in the clinic, I had to go through metal detectors to get in, and I could only be there by myself. So he was not allowed to be in the counseling room with me. And part of the reason they actually do that is that women have a safe space to have these kinds of conversations. And they were always really, really generous with it was about me. It was about my thoughts. It was about my feelings. It was about my perceptions. There was absolutely never a moment when they tried to coerce or to push a decision a certain way. That's great. I went for about 5 different counseling sessions, and I did actually have my partner come to one of them. They later told me he was the angriest person that they'd ever met, which I was like, oh wow, that's fantastic in New York City. So this process for me lasted for weeks and weeks. So I was 6 weeks long when I found out I was pregnant, which is really upsetting when I hear things related to the heartbeat bills because by the time I found out I was pregnant, I would have already been banned from having an abortion. Right. It's really upsetting to me when I think about not being able to go through the process that I went through because I found myself in a situation that I didn't plan to be in literally ever. I remember the Planned Parenthood counselor saying, this is a position that most women wish they were never in. And you were in your 30s at the time, right? I was in my 30s. So I wasn't young. I wasn't irresponsible. We actually used two different forms of birth control. And they both failed. Wow. So when I see conversations online now saying, oh, women should be responsible. Why aren't people using birth control? I was. If you are having sex, you could get pregnant. So I struggled with that actually because I did feel at points that my now former partner blamed me. He did blame me, actually. And we're saying like, what do you think I did? You know, I'm not a witch going into the bathroom, right? We're doing this together, but for whatever reason the woman is a 100% for it. It's like their responsibility. Yeah. So I did what I was responsible for, which was to, you know, I remember thinking when the counselor said, this is a decision most women wish they never had to make. I remember thinking, well, that's ridiculous. This doesn't seem that bad. But it really was. It was actually that period of my life was some of the most confusing upended weeks of my entire life. I can remember them vividly like they were yesterday. And I called a ton of friends and had a ton of conversations and I think they were all circular because I didn't want to have a baby. I also didn't want to have an abortion. And I'm not against abortion. I just had a really strong sensation in my body. Every time I would go into the Planned Parenthood clinic, I would get a pit in my stomach. I would feel like I was going to throw up. And I didn't ever expect to feel that way. Had you asked me two or three weeks before finding out that I was pregnant if I would have an abortion if I was ever accidentally pregnant, I would have said absolutely without even thinking about it. And that wasn't how I felt about it at the time.
00:15:01 - 00:20:02
It just wasn't how I felt. And my partner tried to convince me that that was my hormones, even if it was, it's how I felt. So I kept going back and Planned Parenthood was extremely generous. They kept meeting with me. It was always the same counselor and we would talk it through and talk it through and talk it through. And I literally was talking in a circle because I really was one of those women who I didn't want to have a baby. I also didn't want to have an abortion. And so we talked about my age. We talked about my lifestyle. We talked about everything one way or the other, what that would look like. And I was stuck. And so eventually what they ended up doing was scheduling me and abortion for the last day that it was possible. So right at that point when it was at that 12 week mark. And so I basically sat in this kind of period of indecision for about 6 weeks. Things really deteriorated with my partner. So without getting into that, it just was not going to be a ton of situation I realized at some point. I had no relationship, so regardless of what decision I made. There was no relationship that was going to pull through that particular decision or that particular moment. So I knew that I was actually sitting on a decision where I was going to be a single parent, and he wasn't going to be involved in any way. So whatever decision they made was going to be based on me and my life and my lifestyle. So it was not an easy choice. And the net net of it was that morning of that appointment. I woke up and I still had no idea. So quite often in my life, major decisions have come to me quite easily, so it's kind of like a little lightning bolt and I know what to do. This was not like that. I never got that sort of lighting bolt moment. And I totally avoided it that morning. I was sitting watching TV trying to try to zone out, I don't know what to do. I don't know any more today than I did yesterday. And I called my friend, and she said, put yourself on and go to the clinic. And I remember thinking, like, I don't have any idea what that's going to really do, because nothing's going to happen on the way to the clinic. Well, what actually happened on the way to the clinic, which, as I mentioned, was right by my house. So I walked by that corner for years a couple of times a day. That morning, there was abortion protesters out front of the clinic. And what? That was, again, sort of one of those moments that I will never ever forget. So I approached the clinic and realized there's the mob of men that are yelling. They have the signs, all the stuff. So I did what a good New Yorker does. And I faced away from them. So I tried to hide in a corner thinking. If I can't see them, they can't see me, but I started crying. I actually felt like I'd been hit in the stomach. And I remember looking at the wall looking at my shoes crying and thinking, this is not how I'm going to make this decision. And I took a number of deep breaths. I remember every feeling every breath every heartbeat literally as I was standing there willing myself to go through this picket line. And thinking over and over, this is not how I'm going to make this decision. This is not how I'm going to make this decision. This is not how I'm going to make this decision and eventually I mustered up the courage to walk across the street and literally go through an abortion protest. And to this day, there's nothing that makes me want to stop my car and yell at people more than those protests because I think that honestly those people I've never seen them again in my life, they have not supported any choice that I have or haven't made. I was a woman in my 30s articulate successful professional and I found that to be one of the hardest moments of my entire life. So I can not imagine what that must be like for somebody with less support, less maturity, less gravitas to them. And I entered the clinic and without exaggerating fell on the floor, security actually picked me up. So I went into the clinic, feeling really dissociated, disembodied. Still not sure what I was going to do. And I just started going through the motions. That particular clinic has a couple of floors and each floor that you go up, you kind of proceed through different paperwork, different pieces of the process. And I ended up all the way in the top area, which means that I had done an ultrasound. It filled out all my paperwork. I was just literally sort of going through what they told me to do. And I ended up in the room immediately before the procedure room, and I actually happened to it was just total coincidence end up with the same counselor upstairs who had worked with me during those 5 sessions. And she said, I'm surprised to see you here. I said, yeah, we do. We do. And she said, well, we've been through everything downstairs. So I need you to say the words I am sure. And I said I can not do that. And she said, okay, I'm going to ask you one more time. And I said, I can not do that. And I walked home and I actually cried all the way home because I was thinking, God, I only had one thing on my to do list today. And I couldn't even do it. But she actually called an adoption agency and being, again, the good New Yorker, I got on my bicycle and biked 91 blocks up to the adoption agency that afternoon. And I felt completely different when I was in that environment.
00:20:02 - 00:25:04
I didn't have that pit in my stomach. I didn't feel that sense of compression. I wasn't crying. I looked through the binders of families looking to adopt children. I felt great in that environment and I didn't end up putting my child up for adoption, but I recognized at that moment that all of those feelings in my body that I'd had that entire time every time I was in the Planned Parenthood clinic were really my body saying, you don't want to have an abortion. But they held my hand to that entire process literally. They literally picked me up off the floor when I had collapsed. They kept meeting with me as many times as I wanted to until we kind of got to the end of the conversation. And I have so much gratitude for the fact that I had that choice. I had that conversation. I had somebody to guide me that wasn't just a friend. My Friends were amazing, and so many of them came forward and said, I did, or I did not have an abortion. I've been through this. What have you. But it's really different to have somebody who that's what they do. That's what they do for women. So I'm just horrified. And I keep thinking, I actually, I should tell the end of the story. I ended up having the baby. I kept the baby. I lone parent the baby. I called my parents. I told them I'm pregnant. I started telling friends. And I literally never thought about it again. I just, I moved forward and I don't know why I set that idea aside. I don't know. It felt comforting to me that that was an option. And then I just, I just never thought about it again. So I literally was following that intuitive sense of what I actually wanted to do. And it didn't actually make rational sense. It really didn't. And that's part of what I struggled with, but even just moving forward is becoming a lone parent. That's not a fully rational decision, but it was just what felt right. What I'm gathering though from this, though, the fact that you had that choice allowed you to kind of work through it. And if that was stripped from you, how do you think that would have looked different? It is an incredibly challenging experience to be a single parent. And I think anybody who's in that position, whether it's plans or unplanned, would share the same thing. On a level, it was more difficult because it wasn't planned. And my entire life changed, and it changed immediately. And it wasn't something that I kind of had that ramp up time, either mentally physically, emotionally, financially for, that said, anybody who's lone parenting would tell you, it pushes you to the edge at times. And I really do feel like I would actually resent this situation if I was forced into it because I did choose to move forward and although it was quite harrowing and quite difficult and it was a long trying emotional 6 weeks at the end of the day. That was a 100% my choice, my partner was not even my partner anymore at that point. So I really can not fathom what set of emotions I would have either towards myself, my child, my life, any of that. If I had not had that choice, because although this story that I shared with you was maybe not easy to hear or easy to go through at the end of it, the reason I'm sharing it is because that was all choice choice choice choice choice. It was my choice to cross the picket line. It was my choice to go back for counseling. It was my choice to say, I can't go through with this. It was my choice to go to the adoption agency and the bottom line is it does take two people to create a child. I did use birth control twice. Multiple times. Two different methods of birth control and it's all fallible. And raising a child is an 18 to 20 year process. And it's not something that you just take on lightly, you have to be prepared physically financially, emotionally. You have to be regulated. You have to guide that child through and that's just not something that you should be forced into doing. Yeah, I mean, you said something that was just so right on for me was the people who were protesting abortions are not there to support you through, let's say you're pregnancy through birth, yet they're there to tell you to make a decision that they are not a part of later in life, and they're not there holding your hand as you're giving birth. So why do they even have the right to stand there and tell you what you should do with your life? Something I actually thought about often and I have said it over the last decade plus. Those people who are outside that clinic have not played any role in my love subsequently. They don't actually even know what decision was made or what led into it or what my emotional state was or what my state of partnership was. Or anything that even led to me standing there, but they certainly have not helped me in any way. Physically, financially, emotionally, none of them are coming over to babysit. So I struggle with that because much as I understand that that is a moral standing and it's something that they believe in strongly.
00:25:04 - 00:30:03
I think that there isn't a set of actions by those same people. They just, you know, it's often said, go, it takes a village. And then it's up to that individual woman to go find that village. And that's increasingly difficult. It's very challenging to find people that really are invested in there for you. And I think it's something that people say, but where are those people? And next up we're going to talk to Michaela, she is 27 years old, she currently lives in Temecula, California, originally from Huntington Beach. She's in a monogamous relationship and she has a story about her own abortion journey. All right, we'll get right into it. Michaela, we love to hear your story. So basically my story is I got pregnant when I was 19. I had the baby because I was terrified of my family and everyone in my life abortion was not an option and coming from someone that grew up very conservatively and was pro life, you know, growing up before I was, you know, even sexually active. You just really don't know what you would need to do until you were in a situation like that. And you know, I was very immature and didn't have the financial means or stability or anything. And you know, I've made it work. She's 7 now. So then flash forward, she was like a year old, I had a new boyfriend. I thought he was amazing once again. I was still in my very early 20s. I was very young. And I had the implant on birth control in my arm, so I thought, you know, I'm doing the right thing. I'm on birth control, I'm not going to get pregnant. I'm being safe and everything. And then my boyfriend at the time, he was like, well, I got to dissect me when I was 18. And I was like, you can't get a bisecting me when you're 18 years old. I was like, don't you have to be like 25 or have three kids already or something? And he's like, well, it was a family doctor and he knew I didn't want to have kids, so he just did it. And I was like, okay, I'm like, who lies about that? I mean, he even tried to show me where there was like a knot or something, and I was like, okay, wow. And so that implement actually was like making me hormonally kind of weird. Like I could feel the ups and downs. So I wanted to switch it anyways, but then I was like, well, if the person I'm monogamous with has a dissecting, why would I even be on birth control? Like, that's crazy. And I really plan on just being with him. And I was totally in love with him. And so I got it removed. I told him I was getting it removed because, you know, everything and he was like, yeah, you know, that's a good idea. I'm glad that I have the vasectomy, so you don't have to be on birth control. And I was like, yeah, that's perfect. Amazing. I didn't want any more kids anyways. Especially not at that time. I was struggling with the one I already had and just, you know, to provide and everything. And so then I found out he was on drugs and found pills and all these things started coming to light. He was just a pathological liar and then I broke up with him and everything and then like a month later I was like, why do I feel like I'm pregnant? I had the symptoms and everything and I was like there's no way though and I got a pregnancy test and yeah, I was pregnant and I was like this is crazy and I contacted him and I was like how am I pregnant? And he's like, you must have slept with someone else. I'm like no I did not like hitting me and then I kind of kept on him and on him and then he ended up admitting that he lied about having a bicycle what a thing to lie about. I know. That's what I'm saying. I'm like who lies about something like that. So and not that you have to have some crazy stories to need to get an abortion, but this is just another side of something that can happen where men participating in something and can lie and do all kinds of things, you know, take off a condom or whatever they're you know, so much power is in their hands and then it's like we're left with the consequences and it just doesn't seem fair. Well, even like when he said to you, you were sleeping with someone else. You always trying to put it on me like, well, you must have gotten pregnant somehow, you know, like trying to play it off like that's how that happened and so I was I think 21 at this point and my daughter was like a little over a year. And I just, I was living at my brother's house like renting a room, I had a part time job. It just wasn't. I was like, there's no way that I'm gonna be, you know, 22 with two baby daddies and two kids under two years old. And the dad being a full blown, you know, on drugs, liar. You know, I didn't want to have a child with this person. I know I had the birth control on my arm. I was taking measures to not have another baby, and I was like, I'm not gonna do this. And I was so against abortion. I mean, I never thought I would be in this situation, but I was like, this is so unfair.
00:30:04 - 00:35:08
And everything I went through was my body and giving birth and stuff the first time I was like, I'm not gonna go through that again to do adoption or something. It's like, no, I had preeclampsia when I was pregnant. I would have been high risk. There were more reasons why I didn't want children, more children. Like, I would have had a high risk pregnancy the whole time. I was like, I am not, I'm not doing, I'm just not doing this. So another point I wanted to bring up was how amazing Planned Parenthood is, and I just love that place so much. So I was young, low income, no money, no insurance, maybe medi Cal kind of insurance and I went there and they just took care of me. They made me feel safe and everything was clean and professional and the women were amazing and they just took care of me, made me feel like everything was gonna be okay. I didn't feel judged or anything and I just love that place. It makes me emotional thinking about how much I love her and I've gone there since for birth control, I have an IUD from them and as CD testing any kind of pap smears like I go to them for everything I love that place. So donate to Planned Parenthood. I echo that. Yeah. So the first time around, you did not have the abortion because your parents and your family upbringing. Was there anything else that changed with your views on abortion or was it really just different place and time of life? I just realized how hard it was to be so young. I just was so young and naive. I was like, well, yeah, I'll just have the baby and everything's gonna be okay. Like I just had no idea everything that goes into it and how much money you need to have for a child and where are you going to live and who's going to watch your child while you need to work and I mean it just was so hard so hard doing this like on my own where I just, yeah, it changed my mind on abortion where it's like if you are in a situation, you know your contraceptive didn't work or just anything that happened and you don't feel ready for a child. It's like you shouldn't have to go through with it if you feel not able to, you know? It's like we don't need more children out there that are not taken care of properly. It's like that's not okay. So I mean, yeah, I even when I was younger I volunteered at pro life organizations and everything went okay, but this was before I even was sexually active. That's what's so ridiculous. Right. I didn't even know it's because my mom did so I'd go with her and I was all yeah, like abortions are wrong, you know? And whatever it was put in my head since I was a kid and I'm like thinking about it now it's like until you've been until you're in the situation you just don't you have no idea what it's like to like my situation. It's like I felt forced into pregnancy though, you know? Deceived into pregnancy. Deceived, yeah, because you did everything right. Yeah. So that's what feels wrong. When people, you know, these men or anyone, really, that's against it's like until you've been in this situation, you just don't know what you would do. What do you think would happen, let's just hypothetically, what do you think would happen if you were now pregnant 21 years old pregnant now today and you're in one of the 13 states that has the trigger laws where abortions band as of today? What do you think, what do you think you would do? Man, that's what I'm thinking of, but thinking of if I had someone close to me that I trusted to drive me there because you can't drive afterwards and stuff. So you would need someone to go with you to drive to another state and gas prices the way that they are. Depending on people's situations, you don't know if they even have money for gas to get to a whole nother state. I mean, I could do that now, but I mean gas is crazy. So thinking today, these women, let's say she's young any age, really, but I mean, you know, just in a compromised situation, maybe low income doesn't have the money, doesn't have the means to get to another state. Can't take the time off work to get there and have the appointment and come back and everything. It's just absolutely ridiculous that they need, you know, to go through that kind of scary situation. It already is, I mean, no matter who you are, it's not a fun situation to be in. So adding that stress on top of it, I just can't imagine if that had been me, I would have just been freaking out. And then also you said the financial aspect is so important and something that people don't think through is that it primarily lies on the woman. Did you receive any financial support from your past partner or was it really solely on you? Oh, it was solely on me, but because I was low income and everything Planned Parenthood did it for free.
00:35:09 - 00:40:08
So that's why I love that place. I mean, I got my IUD, they put the IUD and afterwards and at the same time, basically. And so I just went out of there. They just took care of me. They made me I was pretty emotional. I just thought, you know, I was going through a lot. It was just a lot of emotions and I was really emotional and just the nurses were so sweet and made me feel totally better and yeah, they covered the cost and everything. I didn't have to worry about anything and luckily I was in a state in situation that I just had to drive 30 minutes to plan parenthood and you know it's like and it was already such a traumatic like big deal in my life. I can't imagine the extra stress. It would have been if I had to travel long distances to get there. I mean it just absolutely ridiculous. What about post pregnancy too? Does your other partners do they contribute to your child's current day? Oh yeah, for a dad is in like my daughter's dad is involved. I've never went for child support because I just, I don't know. I always just wanted us to be really nice and cool with each other and I wanted him to get on his feet and me as well and I just never did child support but he's always helped with expenses with her. So if we just pretty much go have Z's on everything. So I mean I definitely my situation with my daughter now is pretty good. I mean, I have figured it out and you know everything but that was a rough beginning though. I mean, I was way too young. Like just maturity wise I was so young to have a child that just and I to this day I'm glad that I didn't have a second one. I mean, I just don't know. I just don't think I could have gotten through that. Especially with the other one's dad being the way he was and everything, like he knows my life would just be so much drama. I feel like now I'm just so hard. Like I still to this day I'm glad that I didn't have to go through with that. And yeah, Michaela, even age aside. It's for anybody who's not ready to have a child, it is fucking hard to have a child. You are, right? And when you don't have the financial support, the psychological support, any support, even if you do have the financial support from your partner, there's still a lot of psychological change that happens. And the burden of that can really overtake anything you're going through. So it's not even just about the age, but just anybody who's not ready. Yeah, that is so true. I know I need to stop saying the age thing because that really doesn't matter because me even being older now, I still feel like I couldn't have another child. I mean, I still feel like, you know, you really, you're mental health has to be like in a really good place. I feel like to enter into that willingly, you know, and it's like, I mean, I'm okay, but it's like there's a lot. You know, I'm in therapy and stuff for just different things. There's a lot of things that I'm going through where it's like, I would not be the best to bring in another life right now. And it's like, if anyone else feels that way, they shouldn't have to. All right, next, we've got Priya. She is a 31 years old, originally from Cleveland, currently lives in San Francisco. And she is a internal medicine pediatric endocrinology fellow, and she's single. Okay, we're gonna get right into this conversation with you Priya. Being a physician, you come from quite an interesting perspective. So tell us about your abortion story and then let's go into how you're feeling about how things are today. Yeah, absolutely. So I became pregnant back in March of 2016. It was my last year of medical school and I was actually on two forms. Well, I was on birth control itself on the oral contraceptive pill plus after I became after I had sex at night. I actually had plan B, just in case, as I wasn't on the birth control for about a week's time, I was on it for maybe like four or 5 days and I just wanted to be extra cautious. And then about four to 5 weeks later I began to feel ill and was throwing up and in the mornings and became suspicious. So I did a pregnancy test and it was positive. Luckily, as a medical student having had significant access and just the knowledge of where to go, I went to Planned Parenthood where one of my own attending physicians actually did my DNC at around 8 weeks. And I still remember that day going in. I remember the protesters outside. And I remember doing it all by myself too because at the time my significant other was not able to attend due to patient confidentiality. So it's a very isolating process when you do go through an abortion. And I remember just the procedure and just the support of staff, how nicely that they treated me and understood my story without judgment.
00:40:09 - 00:45:03
One of the reasons why I chose to have this abortion is because, well, there's actually a couple of reasons. So one of the reasons is I'm Indian and I come from a very traditional Indian household and the idea of having a child out of wedlock or just sex in general, a lot of wedlock is really looked down upon and I know that with my parents struggling marriage, it would have added another layer of complexity to that. And so it would have shifted our family dynamic. Plus, as I said, I had mentioned before, I was a fourth year medical student. I was actually planning to move from medical school to my residency program, and I was going to a different state without any sort of family support, no friends, no family there, and my significant other was also not going to be present either. So I would have been doing 80 plus hours a week of work while pregnant or with a child and on literally minimum wage because most people don't understand that physicians actually are on minimum wage when they first get out of medical school. For me, it wasn't financially viable. It wasn't feasible for my background. And just my career in general. And for me, I wasn't ready to be a mom. I was pretty young at the time, and I could barely remember to pay off bills or credit cards, so I wasn't, I wasn't the person that was going to remember to feed a child every three hours that's required. And I remember that being really tough. I was actually on my pediatric rotation during the time I was pregnant and it was really, it was really sad to see to know that I was pregnant and to let go and see these children in the hospital. There are certainly that it wasn't it wasn't an easy decision, like seeing children that you care about and you grow to that they mean something to you and then to have to go back and say, I can't have a child right now like that's just not for me is really tough and it's certainly something I still think about as a pediatrician today and when I have a 5 year old that stops in my office, I always think that could have been my kid. Yeah, I think people don't realize that abortion isn't anyone's first choice, usually. There's many aspects of it that play into the decision. Did you have any views on abortion before this actually happened to you and how did these change at all? Yeah, I always thought that if I were to get pregnant, I would never have an abortion. I was like, it was always something that was open for other people having. But for me, I was, I never even anticipated that I would be in this position, right? I had always thought of myself as highly educated, like a smart girl straight a's, four. Never makes mistakes. How can I get pregnant? I mean, I literally use two forms of birth control because I was such an OCD person, and it happened. It happened anyway, and never in a million years did I think that I would have to go through this. And to be honest with you, there's still a big stigma around abortion, right? Like there's still a fear that I have to disclose, and the reason why I'm disclosing it today is because on this podcast with a huge platform is because at this point it doesn't matter it's so important for us to understand that despite the stigma, it is so common. And it is happening to everyone. It's your doctors, your nurses, your teachers, your Supreme Court Justices, your pastors, all of these people have had some sort of abortion whether they got someone pregnant who had an abortion or if they are the ones that have an abortion themselves. When you were going through this yourself, did you and your partner have conversations and what do those look like? Were you on the same page or did you have differing views? We were both on the same page as far as having an abortion goes because he was also a medical student. He was a year younger than me and came from a staunch Catholic background. Granted, he was probably going to be supported a little bit better than I would have been, but at the same time, the both of us were in the midst of grueling school that had, I mean, absorbent amount of hours that need to be put into it. When you're going through medical school, you're paying 40 grand a year, you're not allowed to have a job, you're not allowed to have an income. And so we were using our parents money or loan money that we had to get. And that loan money only covers your education. It doesn't cover housing expenses or child care or anything like that. It was just, we were completely on the same page as far as this is the only thing that works for us at this time. Yeah, and you said something very interesting is that it's easy to make that decision for other people. I mean, it was easy for you to say, if I ever get pregnant, I wouldn't get an abortion. And that's kind of what's happening today is that these laws are being made by people who are not in our position and making these choices for us. So what are your thoughts on the recent events? Yeah. And I can speak for many physicians in the last couple of days, as I've had a number of discussions with everyone in my department and also other physicians.
00:45:03 - 00:50:02
But it's incredibly disappointing. It's not just disappointing, it's actually we're actually very concerned. And this decision is the complete opposite of what being someone who is pro life in a sense of wanting people to live actually entails. I had done training in Kentucky and Kentucky is one of the state is like highest for child abuse. It's lowest for education rate. It has people there have the highest morbidity and mortality just stepping into the emergency room alone. And the, of course, the GDP there is extremely low. So there's a high level of poverty, like relative to other states like California. So overturning roe V wade is only going to heighten and increase a lot of these issues that we as physicians have to see and deal with on a daily basis. A lot of our patients, especially here at public institutions like the one that I work at, most of our patients are in Medicaid, most of them are from disadvantaged backgrounds. They hardly have access to begin with. And so overturning that choice of having to bring a child into the world and having to go through the medical bill that are required to even be pregnant during this country, nonetheless, raising a child, it's going to significantly affect our patient population in the most adverse ways possible. It's going to have a domino effect in ways that we may not understand right now or can predict right now. And when I say that I'm talking about child abuse and domestic violence, right? Not all men want to be fathers either. So when men don't want to be fathers, they will they can take it out on the woman who is pregnant and they may try to end that pregnancy themselves. I have, as part of my residency, I was supposed to be, I was on a child abuse rotation, and I have seen some of the most unspeakable things that I have actually discussed with my therapist because it's so horrifying to see what some children have gone through for people that weren't ready for children or ready to be parents. Right. Yeah. And I'm genuinely scared for children. Across the nation too, not just women, but children, whose parents are going to have to make decisions about whether they get to eat that day or how they're going to take care of their kid or the attention and the love that those children need, it's going to be diluted. And it's really scary. It's really scary. And that's pretty fast sentiment, at least amongst this institution. Thank you so much for sharing your story Priya. This is, I think, also helpful for all of us to hear from both sides of the story and what you're seeing in the hospitals as well. I mean, I've never even thought about that. It's just caring for kids who weren't cared for or caring for kids whose parents didn't want to bring them into this world. In the first place, those are the abandoned kids. And those kids are going to grow up with lots of issues, mentally, physically, and then it's a cycle, right? That repeats. So this is not just about the abortion itself, but the consequences of all of that for generations to come. Absolutely. And one of the other issues that is going to come out of this is how are people going to be able to trust their physicians at this point to make the right decision for them? My job as a physician is to listen to my patients and do what's best for them. And as a pediatrician, for instance, like whatever the parents want, I mean, yes, that's important to consider, but at the end of the day, my patient is the child, right? So this is the person that I look out for. Regardless of what the rest of the world is best for them. And so this for women is going to be the same thing. You can't depend on a physician who's scared of going to jail to save your life at this point. I mean, for instance, like in an ectopic pregnancy, there is no, in an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus or the zygote is actually not viable at that point. There's no way to take an ectopic pregnancy from the fallopian tubes and transplant it into the uterus and expect it to survive. At this point, in our history, we don't have that available. So the only way to take it out is to remove it. And in this case, both the future possible baby or the fetus or and the women will die from that. And so I'm also fearful that, you know, the state that sanctity that patient that physician patient relationship is going to be eroded and patients can't depend on their physicians anymore to make the best decisions for them. And they'll take it upon themselves, like anyone would. And try to do it themselves. And we're just going to have increased mortality more deaths more violence. It's only us anywhere productive. And I don't know if you have thoughts on this. I know it's not like your area of expertise, a 100%. But what are your thoughts about, you know, all the technology advances for women like freezing eggs and embryos, like how do you see that impacted with this? Yeah.
00:50:03 - 00:55:02
It's going to be interesting, right? Because the way that if we're going to define life at the time of conception, then IVF, for instance, is technically the time of conception. It's something that we actually show patients. Here's a picture of your embryo. Here is the sperm going into the egg. So this is the time of conception. We can actually put a time to it. And so if that's the case in the embryo dye is for whatever reason, then at that point, people can start making the argument that that's murder, that's someone that's inducing the end of a potential life. And so it's going to get really hairy in a lot of different ways for not only for egg freezing, for people may not want may not be inclined to do IVF. People may be worried about the repercussions that happen with it, but also as like an endocrinologist we do deal with infertility and fertility in a number of different ways. That includes things like birth control and hormonal therapy. For instance, one of the most common conditions in women across the U.S. is PCOS. And the mainstay of PCOS is birth control. And so when you are restricting birth control access, you are literally restricting the Pinnacle treatment for a medical condition, not just the prevention of pregnancy, but the actual symptoms that occur along with PCOS, which includes higher levels of androgens, which leads to facial hair production or acne or irregular painful menstruation menstrual periods. There are real reasons for why birth control is used aside from controlling or just preventing reproduction and I fear that roe V wade is just going to be a domino effect where they're going to go after IVF. They're going to go after birth control and other hormones that regulate fertility, which is really sad because we're putting all of this into one basket of it prevents pregnancy, whereas really there is a multitude of reasons for why you would use any of these medications not just pregnancy and we use them all the time in all age groups. I hope that we can all stay strong and work to fix this. Oh, I'm so glad we did this UA. I feel like hearing for people that have been through it. You know, you can read all the articles online, but that really just brings to light, just how unique people's experiences are, but also how there are a lot of common themes. I think my first takeaway is that there's this perception that people aren't responsible. And I think with every single person here, we heard that they were trying their best and things happen. And thinking about it, like there's so many potential parts of this whole process that can break down anywhere from the birth control, the other person, on the other side, you don't know what they're really saying. We heard from Michaela's story just like there was a level of deception and why should that sit on her at the end of the day. You know, like that part really struck me that there's so many opportunities for things to go wrong that are just out of our control ultimately. I think my other big takeaway is you don't know until you're in it. What you might think you want and all the people that are making these decisions have not been through it. And the fact that they're able to make these decisions for women for our bodies, like there's so much that's just so incredibly inherently wrong with this, that, you know, I think just hearing this today of maybe I thought an abortion was for me, but then when I actually went to do it, it was not, or I immediately thought abortions were bad, but then when I actually had a child and realized all the work in all the maturity needed to raise a child, I realized I actually felt different. And I think just being in something versus talking to it or two entirely different things and the fact that we're leaving it to people that are just, they're not going to be with us through this whole process. That's extremely scary and I think the other takeaway I had is that it doesn't stop here. I'm really concerned that this will impact LGBTQ+ rights. There's a lot that that's coming next or even the stuff that we're talking about with Priya around like IVF and the future there. There's so much fallout from all this that is what comes next, what other rights are overturned. That's a really scary place to be in 2022. It's a very, very scary place. And I think all of our listeners who we interviewed today have said exactly this is that you don't know the consequences and the consequences could be so dark and just hearing their stories. It just shows you that there's so many sides to what someone's going through. And it's so easy for us to look at someone and be like, they should do this.
00:55:03 - 01:00:02
They shouldn't do that, but when we are in it, it's so hard. And it's not black and white. We can say this about dating too. Looking from the outside. Sure, dating coach could look at your life and be like, you should do this and you should do more of that. But they're not actually in your body. So we can we can think about, we can try to understand what other people are going through. But we can't make the decision for them. The biggest takeaway I've had from all of this is that you've heard of the million millionaire next door, how about the woman who needs an abortion next door, which is basically just shows that there are so many people around us who need an abortion who need this help and they may not look like the person that you think who needs an abortion. It's not that 16 year old who went to a house party and had sex with someone to use any protection. Super irresponsible. And even if it is that woman, that girl. How fucking scary is it? Yes, she was irresponsible, but how fucking scary is it to be 16 and to be faced with this life-changing decision. So again, like it doesn't really matter what this face of abortion is, is that there's so many different faces and we can't make that decision for people. And I'm torn. I'm heartbroken for all the children who do not have the support that they need. Do not have the financial support that mental support to the family support and who are forced into this world. We don't need any more of that. And like what you were saying to Julian, I think Janice said this loud and clear is the people who are making the decisions aren't helping me along the way. If you're forcing me to have this kid, then give me universal healthcare, right? Pay for the diapers, pay for pay for the diapers. Be my babysitter. Come support me. Help my kid pay for college. Right. If you're not going to be there for the rest of it, then how are you able to make this decision that informs the rest of my life? I think also it's like, I don't think anyone wants to have an abortion. That's not really something that you're striving for. A lot of times it's because that's the best option for you at whatever time. There is. And the fact that we're taking choice away from people, I mean, even if you come out of it on the other side like Janice did and decide to have the baby, the fact that you were able to process that on your own and come to that decision. The fact that we're stripping that away from people is just unimaginable. And it's just so sad. That's where we're at. I think the other thing that was really apparent too is how much this falls on women and you know it does take two to make this happen in the first place and you know it's not all men. I don't want to say that, but a lot of times just inherently due to the fact that it's our body and just the way it all works. Even if you're the most 50 50 partner, there's always going to be some stuff, like women are going to be the people that breastfeed, just because of our body. So there's so much that falls on women and Alexandra Solomon actually put up something on Instagram. We love her over here. But she put up this quote on Instagram says, if your heart broken enraged about the Supreme Court's ruling today, your partner is not matching your emotions, this post is for your partner. And she basically talks about how you should resist the urge to minimize the impact, resist the urge to debate, offer comfort, distraction, and rest, stay calm, and listen more than you talk, and I feel fortunate that I have a partner that was equally as upset, but I think a lot of times that isn't always the case and the more that we can get everyone to help, like this is kind of like similar to fights for racism and stuff. It can't just be the minority that's speaking up and needs to be collectively everyone. And you know, it warmed my heart of the men that I know that went to protests and rallies. And I think that should be the norm. It shouldn't even warm my heart. That should be the norm. So for all the men listening, first of all, thank you because the fact that you got to the end of this episode means that you are vested, so we're probably speaking to the wrong men here, but the more you can educate your family members, your Friends, or anyone that may not be taking the hour plus to listen to a podcast about this, the better. That's how we can all fight together. And just have more conversations without judgment. I think that's really it. Just having these open conversations, not having expectations and just learn from each other because I think the point of this episode was just to learn about the different women and their stories, their journeys. And there's just so many more out there, let's just open our years to these stories. And to me, it's like bringing back all the stories I've heard throughout my lifetime of these abortion journeys and I can't imagine what would have happened if these women did not have the choice.
01:00:03 - 01:03:41
It's not about the act of abortion. It's about the choice having that choice of abortion. So let's just open up the conversation. We would love to hear from you all too. You know, you can always reach us at hello at dateable podcast dot com or you can DM us on Instagram at dateable podcast. Open up the forum for this and we want to hear everyone's opinions, stories, et cetera, just tell us all, especially men too, we want to hear from you as well. Everybody. Yep. And donate to Planned Parenthood. That was something that came clear of just how great of support system that is. I know I will be making a donation today and if you feel inclined, please do so as well. Planned Parenthood saved my butt. I did not want to tell my parents I want to be on birth control and Planned Parenthood was totally discreet and completely supportive throughout my college life and I could not have gone through that journey without them. They're the ones that helped me through all of my girl stuff, you know, all the o-b-gyn stuff that I was too embarrassed to talk about with my parents. And I agree. Let's support them because they're the ones who've actually been there for me. Supporting us. Exactly. Okay, we're going to wrap up this episode, but we're not wrapping up this discussion. We'll keep this conversation going everywhere else, but for now this episode is done and again, you can find us on Instagram at dateable podcast, EMS, and we're also on TikTok at data podcast as well. Find us there. And if you feel inclined to do so, we would so appreciate a rating and review in Apple podcasts, 5 stars and a little something nice. That makes us that warms our heart to no end. So that's supports us. A support each other. Okay, we're gonna wrap this up. Stay. The dateable podcast is part of the frolic podcast network. Find more podcasts you'll love at frolic media slash podcasts. Want to continue the conversation? First, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the handle at dateable podcast. Tag us in any post with a hashtag stay dateable and trust us. We look at all those posts. Then head over to our website dateable podcast dot com. There, you'll find all the episodes as well as articles, videos, and our coaching service with vetted industry experts. You can also find our premium Y series where we dissect, analyze, and offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We're also downloadable for free on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google Play, overcast, stitcher radio, and other podcast platforms. Your feedback is valuable to us, so don't forget to leave us a review. In New Hampshire, all roads lead to adventure. The granite state isn't only home to New England's tallest peaks. You'll also find epic coastal views in charming towns, perfect to explore on a summer trip, whether you're seeking the adrenaline rush that comes from kayaking rapids or the peaceful chill. It comes from enjoying a cocktail on the porch of a classic B and B, there's something for everyone in New Hampshire. For more summer inspiration, go to visit in each dot gov. That's visit image dot gov, discover your new. Only at metro by T mobile, you can upgrade the 5G and get more savings, with the lowest price on one line of unlimited 5G just $40, period. That's it. Taxes and fees included. Plus, more choices with the largest selection of free 5G phones from brands you love, like Samsung. Switch and save more. Only at metro. Lewis price versus major national prepaid brands. The fraction of users greater than 35 gigabytes per month may notice reduced speeds and metric customers may notice reduced fees versus T mobile due to prioritization, video streams and SD requires eligible port in and plans to store for details. And most importantly, remember to stay dateable.